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Odysseus at the Court of Alcinous by Francesco Hayez. The blind minstrel Demodocus is playing the harp. Francesco Hayez 028.jpg
Odysseus at the Court of Alcinous by Francesco Hayez. The blind minstrel Demodocus is playing the harp.

In Greek mythology, Alcinous ( /ælˈsɪnəs/ ; Ancient Greek: Ἀλκίνους or Ἀλκίνοος, Alkínoös "mighty mind") was a son of Nausithous and brother of Rhexenor. [1] After the latter's death [2] , he married his brother's daughter Arete who bore him Nausicaa, Halius, Clytoneus and Laodamas. [3] In some accounts, Alcinous' father was Phaeax, son of Poseidon and Corcyra, and brother of Locrus. [4]

Greek mythology body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks

Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes, and mythological creatures, and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by medieval Greek.

The name Nausithous is shared by the following characters in Greek mythology:




In the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, Alcinous is represented as living with his wife Arete in Drepane. The Argonauts, on their return from Colchis, came to his island, and were hospitably received. When the Colchians, in their pursuit of the Argonauts, likewise arrived in Drepane, and demanded that Jason's lover Medea should be delivered up to them, Alcinous declared that if she was still a virgin she should be restored to them, but if she was already the wife of Jason, he would protect her and her husband against the Colchians. The Colchians were obliged, by the contrivance of Arete, to depart without their princess, and the Argonauts continued their voyage homeward, after they had received expensive presents from Alcinous. [5] [6] [7] He was also the King of the Phaeacians.

Jason Greek mythological hero

Jason was an ancient Greek mythological hero who was the leader of the Argonauts whose quest for the Golden Fleece featured in Greek literature. He was the son of Aeson, the rightful king of Iolcos. He was married to the sorceress Medea. He was also the great-grandson of the messenger god Hermes, through his mother's side.

Argonauts a band of heroes in Greek mythology

The Argonauts were a band of heroes in Greek mythology, who in the years before the Trojan War, around 1300 BC, accompanied Jason to Colchis in his quest to find the Golden Fleece. Their name comes from their ship, Argo, named after its builder, Argus. "Argonauts" literally means "Argo sailors". They were sometimes called Minyans, after a prehistoric tribe in the area.

In Greek mythology, Queen Arete of Scheria, was the wife of Alcinous and mother of Nausicaa and Laodamas.


According to Homer, Alcinous is the happy ruler of the Phaiacians in the island of Scheria, who has by Arete five sons and one daughter, Nausicaa. [8] The description of his palace and his dominions, the mode in which Odysseus is received, the entertainments given to him, and the stories he related to the king about his own wanderings, occupy a considerable portion of Homer's Odyssey (from book vi. to xiii.), and form one of its most charming parts. [9]

Homer name ascribed by the ancient Greeks to the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, around 20 years after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.

Scheria —also known as Scherie or Phaeacia—was a region in Greek mythology, first mentioned in Homer's Odyssey as the home of the Phaeacians and the last destination of Odysseus in his 10-year journey before returning home to Ithaca.

Odysseus legendary Greek king of Ithaca

Odysseus, also known by the Latin variant Ulysses, is a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in that same epic cycle.

Other accounts

In Conon's Narrations, when Phaiax who reigned on the island of Corcyra died, Alkinous and his brother Lokros, after quarreling agreed upon on the basis that Alcinous would be the king of the Phaeacians and Locrus would take the heirlooms and part of the ethnos to make a colony. The later sailed to Italy where he married the Laurine, daughter of King Latinus of the Italians and for this reason, the Phaiakians claim the Lokrians in Italy as relatives. [4]

Conon was a Greek grammarian and mythographer of the age of Augustus, the author of a work titled Διηγήσεις (Narrations), addressed to Archelaus Philopator, king of Cappadocia. It was a collection of fifty narratives relating to the mythical and heroic period, and especially the foundation of colonies.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

Latinus mythical character

Latinus was a figure in both Greek and Roman mythology. He is often associated with the heroes of the Trojan War, namely Odysseus and Aeneas. Although his appearance in the Aeneid is irreconcilable with his appearance in Greek mythology, the two pictures are not so different that he cannot be seen as one character.

See also

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  1. Homer. Odyssey, 7.2
  2. Homer, Odyssey, VII.54-68
  3. Schmitz, Leonhard (1867). "Alcinous (1)". In William Smith. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology . 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 102. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28.
  4. 1 2 Conon, Narrations 3.
  5. Apollonius of Rhodes, iv. 990-1225
  6. Orph. Argon. 1288, &c.
  7. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca i. 9. § 25, 26
  8. Homer, Odyssey vi. 12, &c., 62, &c
  9. Comp. Gaius Julius Hyginus, Fabulae 125 and 126